Betsy Ross is one of America’s most endearing and beloved characters. Widowed and alone, early in the Revolutionary War, Betsy was approached by three great men. They knew she was a Patriot and a good seamstress. Would she sew America’s first flag for them? Fighting heartbreak, loneliness, and poverty, she accepted the challenge willingly. She couldn’t fight for independence, but she could certainly sew for it!
Tradition tells us that Betsy agreed to make the flag. First she pieced together the red and white stripes. Then she appliquéd thirteen five-point stars—one for each colony—onto a field of dark blue. But did Betsy Ross really sew America’s first Stars and Stripes flag? It wasn’t until 1870 that her grandson William Canby told Betsy’s story to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania—and the rest is history, so to speak. Americans don’t seem to mind that the story can’t be proven. They love Betsy Ross and they love her flag—whether she really sewed it or not!